For Mount Airy, North Surry, and East Surry’s girls basketball teams, the official start of the 2015-16 season won’t come until after Thanksgiving. But fans of the teams got an early look on Saturday morning and afternoon at the Mount Airy Drug Lady Bear Jamboree.
Ten teams from around the area were invited to participate in the all-day event. Each team scrimmaged three different opponents during the course of the day, with the host Lady Bears impressively beating all three of their foes — Davie County (57-49), East Forsyth (57-31) and Ledford (50-34).
Scrimmages consisted of two 20-minute halves, with the final minute of each half cast in a true game-like situation. Although the scrimmages were roughly game-length, no official statistics were kept, and the results will not count on any team’s season record.
“As a coach, it gives you a chance to see your team in three different settings,” said Mount Airy coach Howard Mayo.
Of the three local teams that competed in the event, Mayo probably had the most room to be happy, since his team outscored all three of its opponents in the scrimmages. But most coaches are quick to point out that scrimmages are just that, and amount to little more than practices against another team.
“Obviously, the key is that it’s a scrimmage, which is an opportunity to get better,” said North Surry coach Shane Slate, whose team won two of its three scrimmages, outscoring East Wilkes and Ledford. “We had a lot of kids who got repetitions, and we got an idea of what we need to work on from this point on.”
North Surry’s first official game of the season will actually take place on Dec. 1, when East Surry visits. They will have one more scrimmage beforehand, this coming Saturday at Northwest Guilford. As for the Lady Cardinals, who came out on top in one of their three scrimmages, they will open on Nov. 27, hosting Surry Central.
For Mayo, whose 2014-15 team went 18-7 and lost just three seniors, things couldn’t have looked much better. Mount Airy should be a strong contender for the Northwest 1-A Conference title after finishing third a year ago, behind Winston-Salem Prep and Atkins.
“I thought we did a pretty good job of forcing the tempo,” said Mayo of his team’s outings on Saturday. “We saw some things we had to improve on in all three games. We’ll work on those things and get better.”
The other teams that competed in the event included Forbush, Carroll County (Va.), and Ashe County.
This was the fifth year that Mount Airy hosted the Jamboree.
“Thank you to Mount Airy Drug for sponsoring it, and for the other teams who came,” said Mayo.
The Lady Bears open their season in Trinity on Nov. 27 at Wheatmore High School’s Headliner’s Challenge. Mount Airy will be playing High Point Wesleyan at 7 p.m.
Reach John on Twitter at @johncate73.